Hello fellow polys!
I come seeking your perspectives and I thank you in advance for helping me with a problem that has caused me many tears and many anxiety stomach cramps. I'll be replying to other people's posts to ensure reciprocity, that I give as well as ask/receive.
I have been in a poly relationship with my life partner for five and a half years. We are very compatible, have a lovely relationship, and I know he loves me (he tells me daily, he treats me very well, I see it in his eyes, and innumerable other indicators.). But I believe that he does not love me as much as I love him, and I find that really painful.
He insists that he loves me as much as I love him, but I don't believe him. There are many examples I could give, but there were two incidents recently that seem clear evidence that he doesn't love me as much as I love him. He thinks I'm blowing them way out of proportion and that they aren't evidence of anything.
I want to get the opinions of people here to give me some outside perspective on if these incidents do indeed seem to indicate he doesn't love me as much as I love him, or if he's right and they don't indicate any such thing.
For about a year we've discussed moving in together in the future and in mid-April I told him I was ready. It was awful timing because he had just recently promised a friend that they would move in together. They were looking for June 1st and since there was still a month and a half to go I asked that he cancel moving in with his friend to move in with me, but he didn't want to leave his friend hanging.
So we applied to a few co-ops instead. He said we'll move in together when we get a place in a co-op, but the waiting lists can take one to three years. I told him that if we don't get into a co-op by June 2013 I want us to find a place together. He insisted on waiting until we get into a co-op. He says he is emotionally ready to move in with me, and his reason for wanting to wait is that he deeply despises moving - the time it takes looking at apartments, the stress of looking on a deadline, the cost of moving, packing and unpacking.
I then told him that I am finding it quite difficult and even painful to NOT live with him, and the thought of waiting more than a year makes me sad and anxious. I also told him I'd pay for the moving expenses and do most of the apartment hunting. He said that in a year from now we can re-assess and if it seems we would have to wait another year or more to get into a co-op then we can move in together, but if we would only have to wait less than a year then we should just wait. That means waiting up to two years from now. I told him that I don't want to pressure him but he should know waiting this long is difficult and at times even painful.
The way I see it, if he loved me as much as I loved him he would want to move in together sooner.... his desire to live with me would be stronger than his hatred of moving. At the very least, he would think about the fact that I'm finding it painful to wait, and would go through the month or two of pain of looking for a place / moving in order to spare me the two years pain of waiting. I know that when I really love someone I'm willing to go through a relatively small amount of suffering to spare them greater suffering.
Somehow we wound up having a hypothetical conversation about how it would impact our relationship if I became a trans-man. (Note that I don't want to be a man.) He's straight so I said obviously you wouldn't want to have sex with me anymore, but would you still move in with me (in a 2 bedroom apartment)? He said yes. I asked if he'd still be my life partner minus the sex and he said yes, we'd be friendship life partners. I then asked if his girlfriend wanted to live with him would he be ok with the three of us living together and he said yes. (This is our current understanding, that although we'll be living together we're open to having other partners move in with us.) Then I asked if that girlfriend wanted to live with him but not with me would he move out to live with her, leaving me behind, and he said yes he would.
This really devastated me because if the positions were reversed I would never do that. If he became a woman, decided he was gay, or for some other reason sex was no longer part of our relationship, I would still want us to live together, spend the rest of our lives together, and if another partner of mine wanted to live with me, it would have to be the three of us or not at all. If my newer partner asked for just the two of us to live together, I would be very upset at them that they would even suggest that I stop living with my other partner, because that indicates disrespect for our relationship.
Sorry I wrote so much, I tried to be brief. I'm very curious what others think. Am I overreacting and thinking irrationally, like my partner says? Or is it reasonable to suspect that the love in this relationship is unbalanced?